Studies have found that the lower the pitch of a man's voice, the higher his testosterone level, which itself is an indicator of his genetic quality and sexual fitness. I have the opposite problem. My parents were extremely homophobic growing up, especially my mother, so trying to hide my gayness, including my voice was always a real struggle. He's always had "the voice" - even as a small child. My perspective of "gay speech" is that it has to do with acceptance and integration into a culture/community you seek or feel a part of. When we listen to others, that's receptive communication. You can identify the sex of many animals by their vocalizations. Are you a man who is dealing with high levels of estrogen? I've always wondered if it's a sonic 'device' used (consciously or unconsciously) as a (relatively) subtle clue to potential mates, alerting them to the fact that the person is gay. Testosterone is a hormone produced by the human body. So much for that. So, it must be a fully subconscious sort of thing. As different things develop at different times a high voice might be as influenced by nutrition as anything else. During puberty, a surge of sex hormones causes vocal folds to lengthen and build up muscle, more so for boys who experience a spike in testosterone at this time. Obviously, this is not a rare problem, and can be quite disconcerting to those affected. If one pictures a string instrument, we raise the pitch by tightening the string and lower it by loosening the string. Thank you for correcting that assumption for me. The problem can be from using one’s voice incorrectly- such as in a falsetto- which should respond to voice therapy. Some gay guys have an effeminate speaking voice, while others have a masculine voice. Or maybe your friends are mostly girls or openly gay boys. I’ve always wondered about this. I've always been self conscious about my voice. I wonder if it was a genetic attribute. There is more than one type of gay speech. Rahul Kalvapalle, Patricia Lonergan and Don Campbell, How this tiny animal is helping scientists investigate disorders of the human brain, How U of T handled a semester like no other, Your email address will not be published. Even growing up in an extremely Christian family, where I tried to hide what I was, I still got questions all the time about my sexuality. Many gay men "vocalize" like women. Generally XY babies develop masculine behaviors, and YY babies develop feminine behaviors, but sometimes the nerve pathways associated with the other sex's behaviors get developed. They are a marker of group identity. It's frustrating not having an answer! Common causes of high T levels in people with vulvas include: Hirsutism, which causes the excessive growth of body hair. I'm sure this is a natural response to possessing an observable variance of the majority population. I have always thought that gay men tend to speak far more quickly than straight men do. They asked people to listen to recordings of 25 men, 17 of them gay. Interestingly, I did not code switch at all when I was younger. There should be people in your area who can do this surgery- or you can certainly contact us at the NY Voice Center of the NY Otolaryngology Group. Christian Siriano was born, I believe, in Baltimore and I am certain that his "affectation" has nothing to do with the Baltimore dialect. Is there anything I can do? However, I was much more comfortable in my effeminate voice and ways around my friends. Now as an adult, It's hard to break that habit. I don't really care how I sound, but I do crave the feeling of authenticity that characterizes voice #2. When we hit puberty, hormones invariably cause the voice to change. I am one of those. As we age our voices change. I didn't learn it from anyone, it was inherent. Human beings are complex. Most hetero women do. I haven't read any research but have done a fair amount of singing. There is no physical reason why gay men in particular should have a high voice. Bottom line: interesting topic and hopefully we can all respect other speech patterns and vernaculars within communities. To request an appointment at NYOG by email, please give us your contact information in the form below and we will get back to you shortly with available dates. It’s a treatable, typically through the use of speech therapy. It is not just the pitch of the voice, but it's the valley-girl-mixed-with-British pronunciation that, in my opinion allows them to feel better about themselves. The sing-song voice has been with me before I even found the gay community, which is why I honestly would go through spurts of not talking altogether. It’s mainly produced in men by the testicles. They also have more sexual partners, engage in intercourse more often, and begin having sex at a younger age. Rogers and Smyth are also exploring the stereotypes that gay men sound effeminate and are recognized by the way they speak. These sex-determined vocalizations are not learned behaviors - they are inborn. These 15 are known as high-risk HPV types. Gay men seem so much more easily relatable than heterosexual men. Required fields are marked *. I explained it to my grandma this way, when she asked "why do gay men sound like that." You can practice modulating your voice everyday until you'll get comfortable using it as your normal voice. In older work, speech pathologists often focused on high pitch among men, in its resemblance to women, as a defect. I have two voices. If you have a hoarse voice for more than 3 weeks, it … The male/female animal didn't learn it from its father/mother. Thanks, that is very sweet that you find my voice pleasing to the ear, … 17 – Deep Voice Testosterone is one of the factors that lead to having a deeper voice. More often it makes it lower and hoarse, hitting the range that notes shift into the "head" register. More often, hoarse: Acid reflux certainly can impact the voice. I tried to hide it to no avail and ended up coming out to family and everyone else when I was 20. However, sometimes this does not occur as one would like, leaving the voice with a high pitch. When hoarse, the voice may sound breathy, raspy, strained, or there may be changes in volume (loudness) or pitch (how high or low the voice is). In more severe cases, spasms may occur on every word, making a person’s speech very difficult to understand. We are close in age and I've always known he was gay. This allows the vocal cord to relax and lowers the pitch of the voice. In my high school there was a kid who "sounded gay" who would swear he wasn't. When it does, people tell me I seem a completely different person. As a gay man, I know my speech patterns vary depending on the situation. are associated with the different forms of gay speech. The gay voice is not a learned behavior. 1. ", As many professionals in the fields of linguistics and socio-linguistics will tell you, this phenomenon is not unique to gay men. Why do we speak with the stereotypical gay speech? a British person) or other cultural speech like African-American vernacular. Regarding the idea that men who sing in a higher range are gay, I'm a professional singer and by far most of the countertenors I've met are straight. I believe some men actually are born with the so-called gay-sounding voice. They want to know how men acquire this manner of speaking, and why – especially when society so often stigmatizes those with gay-sounding voices. The other, which happens to be deeper by a shade, occurs when I am feeling more healthy and confident, and secure in my self-in-the-world. I am happy and proud to be how I am. As a result, men with high testosterone levels tend to have bigger noses. A low-pitched voice is considered sexy, but it doesn't mean a man has better semen, according to Australian researchers who found that low-voiced men may even be at a disadvantage in that regard. Some men may subconsciously adopt certain female speech patterns. After identifying phonetic characteristics that seem to make a man’s voice sound gay, their best hunch is that some gay men may subconsciously adopt certain female speech patterns. Think about how voice inflection, volume, even dialect and accent affects your perception of a person. Think of how you may speak more professionally in one setting and also have a more casual register around your friends and family. After three years of research, linguistics professors Henry Rogers and Ron Smyth may be on the verge of answering that question. Then there are straight men who have an effeminate voice. It’s well known that low levels of testosterone can reduce your libido, but … A high pitched voice is not usually caused by a lump in the throat or a post nasal drip. This article seems to be addressing a stereotype issue rather than looking at why this is a topic at all. If I am in a group of younger men I am not familiar with, for example, I will dampen my "lavender" language. Many straight men have high, “gay” sounding voices, while many gay men actually do not. Before I knew exactly what gay was, I always sounded gay no matter the circumstances. Comprehensive evaluation of these areas by an ear nose and throat physician should readily determine the cause. "You're just so.... cute. " Research has shown again and again that testosterone levels have absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation. Thorpe himself sought help from speech pathologist Susan Sankin to change his diction. “If you have lost your voice, you might find that your voice sounds rough, raspy, tired or feel like it takes a lot of effort to speak,” he says. Not just his voice, but very much about him (body language, his walk) makes him appear to be gay. Linguists have attempted to isolate exactly what makes gay men's English distinct from that of other demographics since the early 20th century, typically by contrasting it with straight male speech or comparing it to female speech. For example, some male singers who have higher ranges and more 'feminine' sounding voices cannot be differentiated from a female; the majority have been gay. I sound like a wrestler when I talk, even though I'm not built like one (well, I'm taller than The Undertaker but I am more skinny than muscular.) This is just one example, there are plenty more. I love gay men! Is There Anything I Can Do? I believe that gay men use a female persona to be campy. There is a specific change in a male teenager’s voice as the cartilage of the larynx (voice box) gets thicker around puberty. It doesn't happen often. The problem can be from using one’s voice incorrectly- such as in a falsetto- which should respond to voice therapy. Thank you for your question. They want to know how men acquire this manner of speaking, and why – especially when society so often stigmatizes those with gay-sounding voices. Convocation Hall’s new top, preparing for virtual labs, and a spectacular campus trail that’s accessible to all, By But I think a lot of gay men, including me, want to know why. Males and females have different vocal fold sizes, and the shorter vocal folds of women makes their pitch higher. I work with a man who is married and raising his wife’s sons. You can’t tell any more. After identifying phonetic characteristics that seem to make a man’s voice sound gay, their best hunch is that some gay men may subconsciously adopt certain female speech patterns. The types of HPV that cause visible warts are low risk and are not the same types that cause cancer. I feel like me. Sometimes this is a conscious decision: I use to protect myself. Another condition that may affect your voice is a voice disorder called puberphonia. As for the testosterone question, that is definitely not true. Its results are immediate and gratifying. Where did it come from? But, says a … These 14 signs of high testosterone in men tell you what it means exactly. Perhaps fewer than half of gay men sound gay, says Rogers. I knew two boys as a child who had the stereotypical lisp sound and eventually came out later in life. Why should a red-blooded, healthy male worry about estrogen? Having an effiminate voice usually prevents me from having to come out to every single person I meet, which gets annoying. While we can make our voice deeper with various techniques, people who naturally have deep voices tend to have higher testosterone levels. Fortunately, most can be helped with a simple outpatient surgical procedure, called a thyroplasty. We take most insurance plans. Gay and straight men alike can have any level of testosterone. It's how we project our personalities and our message. Substantial vocal folds also explain why men tend to have deeper voices than women. I had male and female peers as friends so it's not as if I acquired a feminized speech pattern from an exclusive exposure to one gender in my social groups. From an early age, it identified me as gay. Also called “mutational falsetto”, people with the disorder continue to have adolescent voice characteristics (e.g., higher-pitched, voice cracking, and breathy) past the stage of puberty. High estrogen in men is a legitimate health concern. Increased sex drive. He’s a serious Baptist and I pity him for what seems to be a very clear denial of the person he is. An aging vocal mechanism. Having grown up in the homo-hysterical 80s, I hate to admit that I think that those whose voices "pass" for straight are the lucky ones. The changes in sound are usually due to disorders related to the vocal folds , which are the sound- producing parts of the voice … Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Puberphonia (also known as mutational falsetto, functional falsetto, incomplete mutation, adolescent falsetto, or pubescent falsetto) is a functional voice disorder that is characterized by the habitual use of a high-pitched voice after puberty, hence why many refer to the disorder as resulting in a ‘ falsetto ’ voice. Groundbreaking work was done by Professor Ishiiki from Japan probably 25 years ago and I had the opportunity to participate in his first teaching course in this country. I was a gay guy until I was 20, at which point I transitioned to female. A linguistic register is a type of language used for a specific purpose. This behavior trait appears on a continuum, so some men who are straight may have a feminine vocalization, while many men who are gay did not have their vocalizations "feminized" so-to-speak. The straightest-sounding voice in the study was in fact a gay man, and the sixth gayest-sounding voice was a straight man. Your email address will not be published. And that's how I feel. Now 35, I am still very curious as to how and why a child who didn't even grasp what a gay person was, or had any exposure to gay men, would speak with stereotypical and identifiable gay speech characteristics. Question: I’m a 19 year old man with a high pitched voice. Why? I'm a licensed speech therapist. A high pitched voice is not usually caused by a lump in the throat or a post nasal drip. It wasn't until my mid-teens that I can recall my speech patterns changing depending on the circumstances. Voice cracks can happen no matter your age, gender, or whether you’re a teenager in class, 50-something executive at work, or a professional singer on stage. This leads to traits like homosexuality. But the voice he eventually articulated it in? On the other hand, I've noticed that while in the company of women or gay men, my speech more stereotypically "gay. That had always been there. It highlights his various masculine features that we’re all familiar with: higher muscle mass, larger bone structure, copious amounts of hair, etc. He developed the idea of “laryngeal framework surgery”. Aging may bring a loss of flexibility. Why do some gay men “sound” gay? I think @Stacey hits it spot on, but there is an issue with the linguistic register argument. Of the gay friends I have/have had/I have met, they always tend to speak very quickly, compared with straight. The stereotypically gay ways of speaking are socially acquired in order to be accepted by other gay men who speak the same way, in my opinion. Likewise, we humans know masculine or feminine vocalizations when we hear them. The most common cause of a voice change later in life is aging of the voice box and the respiratory system that powers the voice. Hoarseness or a change in your voice. We make judgements and determinations about a speaker based on those markers. Keep reading to get more information on what causes high estrogen in men. What Causes High Estrogen In Men? I had normal testosterone and developed a powerful first tenor voice. So basically, I feel "gay male speech" is cultural, just like dialect (think Southern drawl), accents (e.g. I have recently answered a similar question from a 21 year old man with a high pitched voice and have taken the liberty of using much of the answer I wrote to him. Males with lower voices masturbate more frequently compared to those who's voices are higher pitched. In 62 per cent of the cases the listeners identified the sexual orientation of the speakers correctly. But he eventually did actually "come out" as gay. All humans have … I would also identify the different modes of gay speech and determine what other factors, e.g., socioeconomic status, region, age, etc. North American English. This could further back studies that argue sexuality is a genetic attribute. I was terrified of my mother finding out, so I talked in a much more "normal' boy voice around my family. As to the person above who said it was something he's had to hide since childhood - I find that really enlightening as I had often thought it was merely affected. Your immediate environment and your upbringing certainly have a lot to do with it. Listen to the affectation of gay male clothing designers....they almost speak in another language altogether. Vocal cord paralysis or vocal cord nodules or polyps can result in a high pitched voice which is also usually breathy. I have always had a feminine voice but never realized it myself until I would see videos or hear vocal recordings of myself. Some can be passed on through skin-to-skin contact and cause warts, including genital warts. I wish I could sound completely gay/effiminate because it prevents unwanted attention from girls. A high pitched voice is not usually caused by a lump in the throat or a post nasal drip. I'm gay and forgive me but....I believe that most gay men speak with that "affectation" because, perhaps as a defense, they feel the need to sound pretentious and/or "fabulous." It's a form of acting a part in a movie or a play, except that the audience is anyone within earshot! If you were a smaller subgroup of individuals and you wanted to find other people in your community, speech is a no-fail, no-guesswork way to communicate your "membership" to and of that group. I’m A 19 Year Old Man With A High Pitched Voice. Maybe you grew up with a bunch of females either at home or in the neighborhood. Because he has to. I have no idea why! Spasmodic dysphonia causes voice breaks during speaking and can make the voice sound tight, strained, or breathy. Vocal cord paralysis or vocal cord nodules or polyps can result in a high pitched voice which is also usually breathy. The problem can be from using one’s voice incorrectly- such as in a falsetto- which should respond to voice therapy. High pitch is often associated with anxiety and nervousness, while a low pitch indicates self confidence and low levels of stress. However, often a high pitched voice is due to the vocal cords being stretched too tightly by the failure to develop a thickening of the voice box with puberty. The gay voice happens when I live in my normal state of anxiety. Because gay men have long been stigmatised, the voice is often a source of shame. Most of us don't think much about our voices from day to day, taking for granted our ability to talk, shout, murmur, laugh and groan. Another evidence of this is that some women with very low-pitched voices may sound like gay men. The voice in my head is more normal, so I always hate the sound of my own voice. Authentic, from the toes up. Finally, I would try to establish why some gay men do not acquire the gay way of speaking. I have a family member who is gay. Vocal cord paralysis or vocal cord nodules or polyps can result in a high pitched voice which is also usually breathy. Some effeminate men … We can say the same sentence but change intonation to make it "sound" angry, happy, sarcastic, etc. The male voice develops in puberty when testosterone levels are anything but level. The extent to which we develop either is determined by the interplay of hormones in utero. And most of my friends/colleagues who sing bass are gay. The fact that most pronounce a mono-syllabic word using two-to-three syllables (the word "no" becomes "nuuuooow") indicates to me a sense of pretentiousness and fabulousness, which perhaps they want to believe about themselves. If I were these researchers, I would be interested in identifying the origins of the gay manner of speaking. It has a biological basis, just as homosexual attraction does. Establish why some gay guys have an effeminate voice and ways around friends. 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